There was a chorus of support from Rwanda’s international friends in the days following the 2nd-3rd May natural disaster in the north and western regions. The expression of sympathy came from as far high as Pope Francis. However, those that one would expect to be putting aside politicking for the sake of the victims, were celebrating. Social media was flooded with the so called opposition laughing at the victims. The evidence is spread allover the web. The response by President Paul Kagame and his administration has been remarkable thus far. The government has responded with a combination of emergency, psychosocial and long-term help, to support those left homeless, so that they can cope with the aftermath. To start with, the survivors were immediately evacuated to safety. They were, and continue, to be given the basics. Going forward, new homes are being prepared for them to return to normalcy. The government's response is informed by international best-practices for dealing with natural disasters. The existing empathetic nature of the President himself towards any suffering, has influenced all the government's actions take so far. In response to the 2004 Tsunami that killed tens of thousands, the Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kälin, developed the Operational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural Disasters. They provide concrete guidance on how to ensure that the rights of those affected by disasters globally, are respected. The problems that are often encountered by persons affected by natural disasters include: unequal access to assistance; discrimination in aid provision; enforced relocation; sexual and gender-based violence; loss of documentation; recruitment of children into fighting forces; unsafe or involuntary return or resettlement; and issues of property restitution. These are similar to the problems experienced by those displaced or otherwise affected by conflicts. Although there is considerable discussion within the human rights community about prioritizing certain rights, it is generally accepted that the first priority is to protect life, personal security, and the physical integrity and dignity of affected populations by:- First, there is need to carry out evacuations and relocations when necessary in order to protect life. President Kagame oversaw a response that set up temporary sites to house the survivors. In Rubavu district, there are 3 sites hosting 2,842 families of 13,422 people. For Rutsiro district, government setup 11 sites caring for 2,168 people. As for Nyabihu district, the authorities are catering for 21 sites with 2,760 people. What the temporary sites are doing is protecting the affected populations against the negative impacts of natural hazards. Women and girls are safe from abuses that usually arise from such situations. A second category of rights that need to be catered for, are those related to basic necessities of life, including: Access to goods and services and humanitarian assistance, and Provision of adequate food, and sanitation, shelter, clothing and essential health services. A day after the disaster, the Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente was dispatched to condole with the survivors for the loss of their loved ones. The government took care of the send-off, giving the victims a decent burial. This is very important, as it contributes significantly to the psychological recovery of those who survived, as they feel loved by the community, or the nation in their case. Another key aspect of post-natural disaster situations, is that all communities affected by the disaster should be entitled to easily accessible information concerning the nature of the disaster they’re facing, possible mitigation measures that can be taken, early warning information, and information about ongoing humanitarian assistance. In addition to emergency shelter, there has been a constant flow of immediate relief items. The survivors got blankets and clothing. Followed by daily supply of food. There are medics on site to deal with medical emergencies, treat the wounded and prevent any possible outbreaks. The sites hosting the affected populations are busy with guests from civil society groups and senior government officials at ministerial level, showing empathy for the victims. The same visitors are also educating the populations about the dangers of going back to their old areas, as they’re prone to more disasters. The other component addressed by the UN guidelines is the long-term future of survivors. Protection of other economic, social and cultural rights of the survivors, is key. These rights include including: Education; Property and possessions; Housing; as well as Livelihood and work. President Kagame has ensured that his government has a long-term plan for the affected. Several things have been done. Already, the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) has developed a budgetary estimate, at least Rwf 30bn, to construct 3,006 new homes for the people affected and repair 3,200 others in the disaster regions. A cabinet meeting chaired by President Kagame on 8th May approved a comprehensive emergency response plan. At the same meeting, a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Policy, was fast-tracked and approved. These comprehensive actions will put in place mechanisms that make sure any further natural disasters don’t take any lives, or destroy any communities and infrastructure. A mitigation system will be established. As part of the long-term sustainability of the interventions, government is going ahead to resettle some of those left homeless in new apartment blocs in Rubavu district. These apartments, planned for about 200 families, had been scheduled to house most vulnerable of the region. With this disaster, the apartments had to be given to these new homeless. The homes were to be commissioned in July, now completion dates have been moved to June. As far as the education of the children of those who are now staying at emergency temporary sites, is concerned, the youngest are getting on-site kindergarten classes. While plans are underway to have those at primary and secondary levels, to attend nearby schools. President Kagame has not stopped there. The officials who acted with utter disregard for the plight of the disaster victims, are beginning to see the consequences. It began with the Mayor of Rubavu District. More will obviously follow, because the chain is, without a doubt, much longer. Everyone who slept as floods swept villages, will be held accountable. President Kagame didn’t need to come to the disaster regions in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. He sent the Prime Minister, who carried out extensive assessment of the damage and the needs. He toured the region on Friday 12th May, providing concrete answers to the survivors, that all their needs will be taken care of. He met them in person, spoke to students in a makeshift classroom, and met toddlers as they played. The President also surveyed the damage to public infrastructure, factories and farmland. The whole government was there. The region is looking at a major reconstruction coming it’s way. Just as the survivors need Kagame’s sympathy, they also need a practical picture of their future. Kagame has done exactly so.